- Chantel Jennings, ESPN Staff Writer
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Without a single offer extended yet to a 2014 quarterback, the Michigan coaching staff continues to evaluate players and game film. And one of the most recent prospects on campus was 2014 quarterback Shelby Spence (Chicago/De La Salle Institute), who visited for the Iowa game.
“It was really great,” Spence said. “They have a nice family atmosphere within their football program and they dominated on the field.”
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Spence is a pass-first QB with the ability to run. He’s more similar in play to junior quarterback Devin Gardner and fellow 2014 prospect Deshone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic), which shows that Michigan is keeping its options open in the class behind the pro-style, cannon-armed Shane Morris (Warren, Mich./De La Salle).
Spence was on campus with his father, former Notre Dame cornerback Marv Spence. The younger Spence has interest from the Fighting Irish and the rest of the Big Ten, but has yet to receive his first offer.
Marv played in Michigan Stadium twice during his career and so it was a little different for him to return to the Big House and sit in the stands, but Shelby was looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of the biggest college football stadium in the country.
“It was really impressive,” Spence said. “To have 110,000 people there, packed with all the fans into the game, it was unreal.”
Spence had heard about the atmosphere a bit from high school teammates Mikale Wilbon and Jamarco Jones, but it was something that Spence couldn’t really understand until he was in it. Jones, an offensive lineman who holds an offer from the Wolverines, and Wilbon, a 2014 running back with three offers, were both in town for the Michigan-Illinois game.
Even with a trio of talented offensive players, the De La Salle varsity went just 4-5 this season.
“That wasn’t good at all,” Spence said. “Before we all leave, we want to win a state championship our senior year. That’s our goal we’re focusing on this offseason. … We talk about it all the time.”
To do that, Spence is focused on becoming better in the film room and watching more tape with his father, who helps him with looking at different coverages and schemes. And on top of that, he’s getting in the weight room more and working on his speed.
And while he’s taking in coaches, players and teams right now, he’s also looking at the academics.
He’s taking mostly AP classes in his junior year and has a 4.7/5.0 GPA and has goals of studying business or economics, so academics will be a huge part of his final decision.
“I just want to find a play where I feel comfortable,” Spence said. “Somewhere with a strong mix of football and academics.”
14hJosh Moyer and Tom VanHaaren